fiction · young adult

Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

Faking Normal

author : courtney c. stevens

pages :[hardcover] 336

memorable quote Right now we’re both yard sales of emotions.

favorite character : bodee

summary :

An edgy, realistic, and utterly captivating novel from an exciting new voice in teen fiction.

Alexi Littrell hasn’t told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.

When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in “the Kool-Aid Kid,” who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.

A searing, poignant book, Faking Normal is the extraordinary debut novel from an exciting new author-Courtney C. Stevens.

review :

This book was much more intense and heart-wrenching than I’d ever anticipated it being.

I had the pleasure of meeting the author in the week that Faking Normal was released. Hearing her talk made me eager to read this for myself so I purchased a copy, had it signed . . and then forgot about it. I know–please, berate me about it, because I should have read this one ages ago. It’s one of the best I’ve read so far this year.

Faking Normal has great characters, a moving message, and a plot that will leave you laughing and crying. Bodee was such a sweet character, though at times he was so gentle when he needed his own help that he had me crying for him, too. Alexi has been through too much and works to keep her secrets away from everyone, especially the people she’s close to, though this is pushing her away from friends and family and she’s likely to implode from the coping mechanisms she’s come up with to keep herself safe.

Although abuse is terrible in ANY situation, I love how it was handled in this book. Characters might take a very long time to come to terms with what happened to them, yet it’s never implied that they should have done something sooner or that any of it could have been prevented by them. Faking Normal blames the abusers–and points out that sometimes, those closest to you could need help and be harmed by even the nicest of people.

Even though this is such an emotional read, I know that I’m going to go back to it again someday as well as pick up whatever Courtney writes next. The writing, the characters, they were all so beautiful and vivid. I could imagine it happening in my school, in my town, and that made it all too real. Because anyone could be faking normal.

5/5 stars

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